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Support Women+ in Leadership in diversifying the creative industries

An illustration of four hands in fists pointing to the sky against a purple background. They are different ethnicities and one has henna on the hand.
  • Written byKat Smith
  • Published date22 February 2022
An illustration of four hands in fists pointing to the sky against a purple background. They are different ethnicities and one has henna on the hand.
Illustration by Nia Hefe Filiogianni - www.niahefe.com

Work with Women+ in Leadership

UAL is inviting industry to work with Women+ in Leadership to address the gender glass ceiling for those in the creative industries, as well as the double barrier of gender and racial discrimination. UAL’s Women+ in Leadership programme aims to address this imbalance by teaching new skills, learning from industry experts, and empowering women (inclusive of non-binary, agender, trans women and assigned female at birth) students and graduates across UAL to pursue a living doing what they love through creative industry briefs.

Research shows that only 33% of Managers and 17% of Creative Directors in the cultural industries are women, while about 75% of UAL students identify as female.

‘Women earn on average £10,400 less than men and £44 less in freelance day rates in the creative sector, according to a newly published study […] Black females earned the lowest average salary within the sector at £38,000 as opposed to the £58,000 earned by white males.’ McCulloch, Personnel Today (2021)

Women earn on average £10,400 less than men and £44 less in freelance day rates in the creative sector, according to a newly published study […] Black females earned the lowest average salary within the sector at £38,000 as opposed to the £58,000 earned by white males.

McCulloch, Personnel Today (2021)

To date, companies such as Raconteur, The Elephant Room, Hope & Glory PR, Project M, and h Foundation, have worked with Women+ to empower, teach and make a change to the industry. Industry leaders like Pip Jamieson, the founder of the professional networking platform The Dots, as well as other TV presenters, authors and entrepreneurs have shared their insights with our students and graduates.

From participant testimonies, Women+ in Leadership has proved to build confidence, creativity and skills. “This project has given me a great insight into how the creative industry works,” says one student. “I have gained so much confidence in myself which has motivated me to say 'yes' to opportunities that I would otherwise be too anxious to apply for.” Another participant says “It has been such a great resource to freely explore creativity outside the norms of university projects as it's given me opportunities without the struggle of focusing on grades and marking criteria.”

By supporting Women+ in Leadership, you will be helping to empower a new generation of creatives breaking the stereotypes of who we think of as leaders.

There are multiple ways in which industry figures can support Women+ in Leadership, such as networking events, talks, mentoring and financial support.

The world is changing, the narratives of effective leadership and who occupies that space is changing. And this programme is all about shaping the future face of leadership.

— Tessa Read, Deputy Head of Careers and Employability

Industry testimonies about working with UAL Women+ in Leadership 

Raconteur

Publisher Raconteur focuses on in-depth analysis, infographics and industry-leading special reports. They supported the first industry Live Brief in 2021.

Sagina Shabaya, Head of Talent and Inclusion at Raconteur, said:

“As a publisher and agency, we believe in creating avenues of access to support underrepresented people to secure career opportunities within the industry and become creative leaders of the future. Being able to collaborate with UAL Careers and Employability and offer female students a dedicated programme working on a live brief, with leadership coaching, interactive workshops, support and touch points with Raconteur staff throughout proved to be invaluable.”

The Elephant Room 

The Elephant Room are an inclusive advertising agency, driven by the desire to ‘do things differently’, and have clients including Facebook, Converse, Tropicana and Clarks. The agency supported the 2021 live brief.

Shannie Mears, Co-founder and Head of Talent at The Elephant Room, said:

“Partnering on the Women of Colour in Leadership programme was such a great opportunity for us, not only because of the incredible talent that UAL have, but it was a real opportunity to bring on board a brand we admire and accommodate a space of development for the students alongside UAL. Treasuretress played a key role in making sure that experience was what it was supposed to be for the young women and we really enjoyed learning about their skills and creativity. In the end, they blew us away so much we wanted to award them all and we wouldn't have been able to bring out such creativity in them without the support of the programme as a whole."

As an agency we have a continued promise to open up opportunities to underrepresented talent, however, we have been able to widen our creative community of young people and support our clients in understanding new ways of getting young talent with Women+. I think the best thing for us is being able to sustain relationships with the students and continue to support their career pathways. The relationship we have with UAL is about aligning our common goals of supporting these communities.”

Work with Women+ in Leadership

If you’re in the creative industries and interested in working with Women+, please contact creativeshift@arts.ac.uk